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More tax for less: Germans fear for future

The Local · 7 Apr 2011, 08:50

Published: 07 Apr 2011 08:50 GMT+02:00

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Four out of five people believed the state would demand more of their money in 10 years’ time than it does today.

Yet 63 percent believed welfare for the elderly would shrink and nearly as many were prepared for cuts to public health, though only about one in three expected cuts to Hartz IV unemployment benefits.

The figures are contained in an unpublished poll on people’s beliefs about the prospects for Germany's “social market” model for the next decade, conducted by the surveying firm Infas on behalf of the Bertelsmann Foundation and published Thursday by daily Die Welt.

The picture that emerges is that Germans still have high expectations of their welfare system. Nine out 10 respondents believed that a person who works throughout their life should be able to maintain their living standard in old age.

About 70 percent of people demand the right to paid work that can sustain a decent standard of living – suggesting support for a universal minimum wage, which Germany currently does not have.

One in three people believed it was reasonable that banks and energy firms be taken over and run by the state.

Most people think pensions and aged care payments are already too meagre, while half of people think health benefits, Hartz IV unemployment benefits and social assistance payments are insufficient.

On the whole, people were pessimistic about the future of society in the next 10 years while also being quite optimistic about the economy. For example, 63 percent believed income differences would grow. About half believed social cohesion was in danger. Some 42 percent believed the opportunities for promotion would get worse.

Story continues below…

But the majority believed that the economy would strengthen or at least would lose nothing of its international competitiveness. Nearly 40 percent think economic growth will strengthen – suggesting the well-documented looming demographic crisis caused by Germany’s ageing population is not causing any major fear.

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:05 April 7, 2011 by auniquecorn
believing they will pay more taxes yet receive fewer benefits in the coming decade, a major survey has found.

And what genius figured this sh!t out?
09:16 April 7, 2011 by catjones
What do you call a system where the government owns banking, transportation, energy, health, et. al.?
09:46 April 7, 2011 by freechoice
there goes those old folks indulging in luxury cars and eating out and enjoying their retirement.
09:56 April 7, 2011 by elboertjie
The main underlying problem of this and many more of these issues, is the fact that we are using a fiat currency, meaning, a currency with no intrinsic value. Thus, whenever governments create money out of thin air and thus bail-out other countries or local companies and banks, the money supply gets diluted, leaving us with more diluted paper chasing the same amount of physical goods.

We needs sound money again and the first step into that direction is to get out of the euro back to the Deutsche Mark and then back AND LINK that DM by physical gold.
10:38 April 7, 2011 by Kayak
Notiz zum Redaktor: Deken Sie das "...figures are contained in [a previously] unpublished poll..." klingt besser oder???
11:14 April 7, 2011 by auniquecorn
their cherished welfare state will crumble into the sea.

How long can a socialist country last?
11:39 April 7, 2011 by storymann
as long as you do not run out of other peoples money.
11:58 April 7, 2011 by zeddriver
If one is to look at US history. You see two things that were done a long time ago that set us up for failure.

1, We went off the gold standard. And started fractional banking. Were a bank has say one million dollars. But is allowed to loan out many more times the amount of money they have in the vault.

2, FDR started social security. And to start it he issued an executive order making ownership of gold a federal crime. And all citizens were also ordered to hand over any gold they owned to the federal government. Our government had to steal the citizens gold to fund social security. And it was sold as a way to retire. which then prompted citizens to not put money away for their golden years because the government said they would watch out for them. "NOT"

It's the same story over and over again. ALL forms of government will ALWAYS seek to take total control over the citizens. And if the systems starts to fail. Guess who gets the blame. Yes! those darn greedy citizens and business owners. According to the government It's never the governments fault. Just reelect me and I'll fix it this time

"I promise"

And of course we always have to struggle with the young folk. As they are indoctrinated by the schools to think that if socialism fails it's just because we didn't get it quite right and so we must try it again. Or just blame the rich. Not sure about anyone here. But I can't remember the last time I worked for a poor guy.
12:38 April 7, 2011 by auniquecorn

Yep, your right there.

Nothing like comparing a 2000 year old country to a 300 year old one.
14:04 April 7, 2011 by Kayak
@auniquecorn: You forgot to add an emoticon. People might think you were serious.
15:26 April 7, 2011 by fatherknowsbest
One has to pity the germans these days. It started with the solidarity tax to support east germany and now dear old deutschland is supporting a growing proportion of europe. Some of us tried to tell germany that giving up the deutschmark was a bad idea but a political class driven by a combination of guilt and bad advice wouldn't listen. The ordinary german is working longer and harder than he did 10 years ago and making less in real terms with a resulting lower quality of life. Of course the monied class, the elites who pushed the euro through are avoiding most of the pain with tax dodges and other tactics. Where is the breaking point for the german voter, when Belgium or Spain goes under?
15:39 April 7, 2011 by Ludinwolf
Dont curse me, simply correct me, in case i am wrong.

Let s say that germany is a powerful economy. But what

i ve reading in different economy magazines is that Germany

is increasing its chances of not being able to afford for too long

all these welfare benefits to its ppl if they are stubborn like

they are: the world is wide, further than europe. Germany is

reluctant in doing business with third world countries in bigger

scale. So germany export ( overall) has decreased ( as its population)

and although this year surprisingly had a car sales boom, the better definition is that germany has over the years lost business opportunity with ''poorer'' countries cuz they simply are not interested in understanding those markets.

They dont bother to explore. Germans are tooooo much in security.... but this security is flaw now and seems to get worse... will the country for how long survive selling machinery and cars as other countries started doing the same?
15:56 April 7, 2011 by Angry Ami

Dude you are a genius, it just amazes me that folks don't get that, and then to add insult to injury, Frau von der Leyen has the nerve to rejoice about how she was able to increase the Harz IV benefit a whole 5€ per month, oh hurrah!

not to mention the aggressive resistance to setting a minimum wage in Germany, not to mention not being family friendly, ex. marreid couples without kids have the best tax rate, whereas married couples with kids, the spouse who makes the most gets the most out whereas the other spouse loses a third to taxes, madness, and people wonder why my screen name is Angry Ami.
16:22 April 7, 2011 by SockRayBlue
The number One goal of government is to GROW! Why is this even a news worthy article. DUH!
16:41 April 7, 2011 by Altdude
I only minored in economics as the calculus baffled me, but as one who has been repeatedly in and out of Germany for 22 years, the trend of an ever more robust economy should point to some short-term and medium-term optimism that the system is working. And as Keynes pointed out, in the long run we're all dead anyway -- that goes for economies as well as individuals. Granted there are non-economic factors that contribute to quality of life, but I think the average American who has not experienced life here would be astonished and disillusioned out of his/her "American exceptionalism" ethnocentricity with a little exposure to the German "good life." Fear (of losing the prosperity Germans enjoy now) is the root of conservative thinking, but one cannot lose what one doesn't have. Eat, drink and be happy people, and heed not the fearmongers. If you continue to produce products needed or desired in emerging economies, all will be well.
18:25 April 7, 2011 by Landmine
Welcome to the rest of the worlds reality....
18:49 April 7, 2011 by red7
Don't get worried about Germany , get worry of other EU countries whose households sink under a sea of debt.
20:16 April 7, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Sounds to me Germany needs a little Pep Talk;

" Ja wir konnen!!! Yes We Can ! HOPE !!! CHANGE !!! YAY !!!! We are soSmArt / EveryONe esle is Stoopid !!! RaH Rah RAh !! "

20:22 April 7, 2011 by Englishted
The problem is no new jobs, everything going through job agencies paying so poor wages there is no money going to the pension.

If you have saved for retirement and become out of work you must lose nearly all your savings and anything else before h4 gives anything.eg smaller house/flat smaller car ect ,ect.

Until we get control of the parasitic agencies and start real work with real wages nothing will improve.
22:20 April 7, 2011 by zeddriver

Sorry, But not quite sure what you meant by comparing a 2000 vs 300 year old country.

The USA has been holding elections at the local and federal level since becoming a republic in the 1780's

Germany has had federal elections since 1867. But no local elections until the Wiemar republic in 1918.

So both countries are about on par with each other concerning the history of lying to the public by politicians for the express purpose of getting votes. And the taking of rights from those voters to insure that the government gains as much power over said voters as possible.

politics and the lust for power by those politicians is universal. No matter what country one is from.
09:04 April 8, 2011 by catjones
@Altdude...you can find patronizing in both countries as evidence by your comments. I was 'astonished and disillusioned' by Germany; whilst 'average' and 'good life' are meaningless.
16:36 April 8, 2011 by Wise Up!
"One in three people believed it was reasonable that banks and energy firms be taken over and run by the state." - Welcome back East Germany!!!!!!!
21:23 April 8, 2011 by Englishted
16:36 April 8, 2011 by Wise Up!

"One in three people believed it was reasonable that banks and energy firms be taken over and run by the state." - Welcome back East Germany!!!!!!!

Yes welcome back ,time to put a bit of order in to these greedy capitalists.
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